Faux subway tile backsplash for the kitchen using a Cricut machine

Create a faux subway tile backsplash with your Cricut machine

August 4, 2020 | Contributor: Claire, Cricut Blog Team

Raise your hand if you find it hard to commit to a permanent change! Is your hand raised? Because mine sure is!

I’m a lover of white walls and blank canvases, but cannot commit to wallpaper or tiling. Just because I love a certain style today doesn’t mean I will love it six months from now. I want to embrace my crafty spirit and try out all of the new trending styles at home… just for fun!

Recently, I have seen a lot of subway tile backsplashes on my Pinterest and on Instagram feeds. I have always wanted to elevate my kitchen backsplash with tiles but haven’t brought myself to fully commit yet. That’s when I got the idea to use removable vinyl! It gives the illusion of a tiled backsplash without the commitment and worry of wanting something else later down the road.

This project is perfect for renters, home renovators on a budget, and everyone in-between. Continue reading for my quick tutorial on how I added the backsplash to my kitchen or skip to the video tutorial.

Faux kitchen subway tile backsplash with Cricut

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cricut® machine (or scissors to hand cut a design)
  • Premium removable vinyl (I used 1 bulk roll to complete my project)
  • Weeding and scraper tool (optional)
  • Tape measure (optional)

Step 1: Finding the perfect rectangle

First, I tested a piece of removable vinyl on my wall to make sure it didn’t ruin my paint or leave any sticky residue… this was a success! Make sure to do the same for your wall before you begin.

Next, I went into Design Space® and selected the perfect rectangle for my needs. I wanted something simple with sharp edges but contemplated a rounded edge at first. Searching for “rectangles” in Design Space resulted in all kinds of options making it easy to find one that worked for my space.

Creating a faux subway tile in Cricut Design Space software

Before cutting the rectangle, I measured my wall to determine the size I needed for each “tile.” I chose a rectangle that was 6.5” x  3” for my kitchen, but remember to customize it to your own space and needs.

  • Here’s my community project you can use in Design Space.
  • If you don’t have a Cricut machine, here’s a SVG file that you can use and resize.

Step 2: Cutting and weeding your “tiles

This step is incredibly simple! I set my machine to cut 4 to 5 tiles per 12″ x 12″ StandardGrip mat.

I personally found the shape easy enough to peel without weeding (or removing the negative space). However, you can weed the shapes from the mat and use transfer tape to take a more methodical approach.

Step 3: Applying your vinyl to your wall

Start by measuring 0.25″ from where you want your tiles. This 0.25″ gap around the perimeter of your faux tile will create the illusion of grout.

Carefully apply your vinyl to the wall and use your scraper tool to remove any bubbles on the surface. Repeat this process while applying a 0.25″ border around each side. You may have to cut or adjust tiles to fit around kitchen appliances and electrical sockets.

If you use transfer tape, here’s a quick guide on how you can apply vinyl.

Faux subway tile in kitchen using a Cricut machine

This process took me approximately 3 hours to complete and only cost me $15 in removable vinyl!

Step 4: Step back and enjoy the results

The great thing about removable vinyl is that I can easily wipe down the surface with a wet cloth. Simple to apply and clean!

This project can be done in your kitchen, bathroom, or even as a fun accent wall. I absolutely love the results and the tiles have already held up for over a month. I love that I can also effortlessly remove the tiles and replace them with something new when the time comes!

Faux subway tile backsplash in kitchen cut with a Cricut machine

Are you going to attempt this same project or something similar? Please share your backsplashes with me in the comments!

Faux subway tile backsplash video tutorial

Here’s a video tutorial so you can follow along as I made my faux backsplash.

Looking for more DIY home inspiration?

Return to the Cricut Guide to DIY Home Projects.

29 thoughts on “Create a faux subway tile backsplash with your Cricut machine

    • Hi Pam!

      Yes, you could definitely cut tiles to cover your existing ones. With the white removable vinyl, it is pretty transparent at times so I would recommend getting a thicker glossy vinyl if you choose to do white, especially over a darker colored tile.

    • I love this idea. It might be fun to do this over my 1950s powder blue plastic tiles in my guest bathroom.

  1. great idea, we just had a hurricane impact us and this will help in adding a new design just about any other room too.

  2. Looks great!
    How long has your project been up? Wondering if heat and humidity from doing dishes has effected it?

    • Hi Laurie,

      My tiles have been up for 6 weeks with absolutely no peeling or wear. I have wiped them down a handful of times and they haven’t budged. I have some of the tiles close to my stove range and boiling water and heat from the oven haven’t affected the tiles in any way.

  3. I plan to do a copper-look border in my bathroom. I also want either a copper or stainless steel/ brushed nickel kitchen backsplash. Hopefully either of those are available in bulk and premium removable.

  4. Perfect for my motorhome. I had been wanting to use peel/stick for the kitchen, but was hesitant because of cost. Thank you so much for this simple project. My husband has agreed to let me do it soon. Hurrah!

    • Edith that’s so exciting! Please share the final result with us, we’d absolutely love to see how it turns out!

  5. Hi! Is there a reason you didn’t use permanent vinyl? I’d love to do this in my kitchen and have a whole bunch of permanent vinyl but not removable. Just wondering! ☺️

    • Hi Jessica! I used removable just to guarantee that I could easily remove the tiles without leaving residue if I changed my mind and wanted to do something different to the wall later on down the road! Permanent vinyl would be a great material for the subway tile wall if you’re ready to commit! 🙂

  6. What paint finish do you have on your wall prior to application? Would the vinyl stick to a semi-gloss?

    • My wall is a matte finish but I wouldn’t see an issue with the removable vinyl sticking to a glossy wall. It has a very strong stick for something that doesn’t leave residue and can be removed so easily!

  7. I have trouble with sticking vinyl down in a straight line. How did you get them so straight all the way across on each row?

    • Using transfer tape really helps keep things straight. With grid lines, you can line up a mark on the wall just like tilers do when needed.

    • Gwen makes a great point about using transfer tape to stick vinyl in a straight line. With my smooth matte walls I found it easy to line up the vinyl and use my scrapper tool to remove any air bubbles. Believe me, it took some patience! The great thing about removable vinyl is that you can peel and re-stick if the line doesn’t look perfect. I did this many times!

  8. I absolutely love this DIY. Thanks for sharing! I do not have removeable vinyl on hand, but I do have some white contact paper. Do you think I could use that for this project?

  9. Would it be possible to somehow do just the outline on a blank wall instead of adding the rectangles?

    • Hi Daisy,

      Are you wondering if you can use vinyl to just create a grout-like grid to give the illusion of tiles? I definitely think it’s possible! You’d want to make sure to get vinyl with a matte finish so the grid doesn’t look too shiny!

  10. Love this idea for a rental apartment.
    I don’t have a circuit machine…where would I purchase the vinyl sheets or rolls from?

  11. I absolutely love this idea. I’ve had it saved for so long and I finally tried it out myself. Absolutely no regrets!!! I cut 2.75” x 5.5” rectangles out of white sparkly vinyl with my Cricut.

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